So, massive doses of vitamin B, medication, meditation, and writing kept me from sinking into the sucking abyss. You can all go back to poking me with sticks without fear of my mental breakdown again. It’s something you can’t even explain, but I will try to – it’s like waking up one morning and you just don’t even care that you have no money, and no gas, and there’s nowhere in walking distance that you want to go, and the house is a mess, and you have a stack of bills, but that’s all okay, because you’re fine with just hanging out at home, and it isn’t even depressing. Like that giant safe that was dropped on your soul from forty stories above has been pushed off and you can breathe again, and think of sad things without having a sobbing meltdown. You eat things other than chocolate and ice cream. You don’t really care that you aren’t chasing every dream you ever had, you’re just happy that you don’t have to fight to get out of bed, that you are back to considering a future, and the physical feeling of drowning under the weight of your tears is gone. Boom. Like that. Even though I don’t have the power to turn my depression on and off like a switch, some times it comes and goes like someone else has the power to control it. It’s not like anything changed in my life to make it better, it’s just I woke up on a perfectly gloomy day, continued to do the same mundane things I always do, but suddenly, it wasn’t like physical torture anymore. And I am grateful for everyday it gets to stay this way.
This is a good thing because two year check up is in two weeks. I do believe my baby alien re-inflated itself after the last tortuous surgery, or at least that is what I am hoping. Actually, I’m not hoping that it did, I am just hoping that that is all that is wrong, because something is, and rather than whining about it, I’ve been just patiently waiting for the next day of probing to address it. It’s not like waiting a month would really make a big difference anyway, but I’ve got pain and weird sensations going on in ground zero and I know something is up. I’m pretty sure I’m still cancer-free, but I think that the poking around at the chrysalis in my former uterine cavity did little to eliminate the problem and was just a stop-gap, and at some point it’s gonna be either me, or a qualified surgeon, going in there with a knife and cutting that shit out. And if it is cancer, well, not much I can do about that except treat it – it’s not like it’s flesh eating bacteria or a bot-fly larva erupting from my skin. See? I come out of the darkness, and I’m all like, who gives a fuck? For the record, Vitamin B is nasty, but clearly works. Or I believe it works, and thus I prove the placebo effect valid once again.
Hopefully you are all breathing a sigh of relief at my return to normalcy. Normalcy is relative though, and I’m still pondering the secrets of the universe and scheming great schemes. Andy has agreed to go to Riot Fest with his mother, and I am buying his ticket for his birthday. The last time we went on vacation together was when he was five and we went to Disneyland for a week for his birthday – Riot Fest will be much like that trip, except, I won’t be charged with child abuse if I smack him in the head for being whiny. In other words, he will fall asleep in the car, whine about being hungry, complain about the music I am listening too, wander away and want to go in the opposite direction of wherever I want to go. And like when we went to Warped Tour to see AM! and Pennywise, he will spend all his money, and come looking for me only when he is covered in mud and has lost his shoes and is hungry. Mother and son bonding at its finest. If you want to join us, let me know – I will be staying in a hotel – he wants to stay in a tent – or the car – or on the ground – and as he will ditch me to see the bands he wants to see once inside the gate I will technically be alone. We’re driving because I love a good road trip. You can get tickets on layaway, which is the only reason we can afford it – because the universe has some sort of issue with me having a bank account with any sort of substantial balance in it (grasshopper).
Well friends, it’s almost time to make something for dinner. Maybe if you are lucky, I will make something amazing and you will be treated to pictures of it on FB. Have a great rest of the weekend, and Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there, including my “son” Corey, and my dad, if he’s ever allowed to return from where he is being held hostage at my brother’s home (detention camp) in Maryland, and to all the moms out there who are filling in as dads. And the men who are like dads to the dad-less. Fight the power!
so I thought I would combine food for the ears and eyes (and soul) with food for the eating – I am sharing a favorite poet and a favorite (easy, cheap) recipe
e. e. cummings is one of my favorite poets. I love his style because the words roll around on the page in chunks, and there’s no perfunctory punctuation to make you pause in wrong places. I think some people hate poetry because they’ve never read it aloud, or because someone who didn’t read it well, like a boring english teacher, made them listen. Some words must be heard aloud, read with intent and read well. Most people remember e.e. cummings because there’s always an obligatory poem or two in an anthology used in high school English or freshman english at college. Inevitably, the worst reader in the class is asked to read it aloud, and it loses the music it is meant to have. I find his work really evocative and visceral. I don’t typically like poems that rhyme, other than sonnets, and yet there’s something so rhythmic and lyrical in his work.
I offer you one of his works you might not be familiar with. There are tons of e.e. cummings scholars, and people who will tell you what his works mean, and how to interpret them. I hate that. I think the best artist/writer/musician creates universals in their work, things that you and I can identify with and still be a million miles apart in our understanding. And then come back in ten, twenty years and find some new way to connect it to our experience. Enjoy (that’s an e word too)
my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and
taste and smell and hearing and sight keep hitting and
chipping with sharp fatal tools
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of
chrome and execute strides of cobalt
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am
becoming something a little different, in fact
Hereupon helpless i utter lilac shrieks and scarlet
And there you have it. If you want to explore more go here
Now, let’s talk food. It’s the week before payday, and as often happens here at casa pietkiewicz, we are watching our dimes and eating on the cheap. One of the staples in our house is elbow macaroni, and one of my new favorite ways to make it is with curry…so without further ado, here is my fabulous curried elbows recipe
1lb box of elbow macaroni
red pepper flakes
hot madras curry powder.
Boil the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain. Put back in the pot. Using a tablespoon, scoop a chunk of coconut oil onto the macaroni and then add two-three tablespoons of butter (olive oil works too), salt, pepper flakes and curry powder to taste, mix it really well and serve. You can add some shredded jack cheese or a slice of white american cheese on top if you like, but it’s delicious without cheese too. If you expected measurements, sorry, I do everything by taste. But trust your judgment and I am sure you will be fine. If you don’t have coconut oil, use more butter or olive oil, but I really like the taste of the coconut oil. If you don’t use coconut oil, use less salt. And it has to be sea salt. So buy some. If you really want to splurge, throw in some cooked frozen peas. Or chickpeas. Or both.
And this my friends, gets me caught up with my alphabet challenge. I hope you are enjoying the new vocabulary words I am sharing with you. So back to my Game of Thrones marathon, but I leave you with this, to end my escapade with the enigmatic letter e…
It has been an emotionally draining week. It ended with my monthly road trip to Philadelphia and back, which is usually highlighted by the trip to the Asian food bar at Wegman’s. But even a box full of curried lamb and pot stickers have done little to lift the weight of world that’s settled onto my shoulders.
However, armed with my new trusty ipod shuffle loaded with several of my favorite bands (heavy on the OWTH, AM!, Fur, The Go Set and Pennywise but completely devoid of any Elliott Smith songs because it’s spring and Elliott Smith should only be listened to on cold rainy November days or if someone kills your puppy and eats it) and plenty of time spent driving in circles because all though it is alleged that Benjamin Franklin laid out the streets of Philadelphia in a neat grid form (LIES, ALL OF IT LIES) I was able to be alone with my thoughts for most of the day. (and again, thanks Jim Tanner, for giving me the wonderful shuffle to let me have music back in my life).
So there I was, sunroof opened, hopelessly turned about in North Philly, my phone GPS always two steps behind my current locations (aka being completely useless, as were my mapquest maps). Annoying those around me with my glorious alto voice, I kept returning to the events of the past few days that have left me feeling defeated, and basically like a desiccated corpse. It’s been a really rough week. So I tried thinking happy thoughts, because the job frowns on my driving around with a water bottle full of vodka and cocoa, at least on work time. I feel it is very important to share many of these valuable and fascinating thoughts with you, gentle reader:
- Dead skunks are the only true sign of spring. The poor fellows awaken, wander onto roads everywhere, and die. Their death is the sacrifice that brings on spring. Not robins. Not geese. Not onion snow. Skunks. You read it here first.
- There are too many drivers on the road that do not understand the purpose of marking lines on the road. The speed limit is a suggestion; lane lines are a rule. Stay in your own lane. If you can’t drive a large vehicle and keep it in your very ample lane, buy a fiat. And reenact the commercial.
- There must be a subliminal message in reality tv. Like ice cream, or irish soda bread, it gets in your blood and some how you can’t look away. Unless it has to do with duck calls or Kardashians. Then you must avert your eyes. Or you will turn to a pillar of artificial sweetener.
- Kid hugs can cure a lot of bad things. I’ve hugged as many little people this week that would allow it and not make me look like some sort of creeper. However the innocence of little children should be distilled and sold in tablet form. It kills a lot of the bad mojo that grownups cast off around me.
- A kid climbing a lingering snow bank on their way to school in the morning will always make me smile.
- I feel like there are far too many drivers from Quebec on the roads. Is there no fence being built to keep these Canadians out? (not all Canadians, just those who drive, from Quebec).
- If you have a car that is designed for driving fast, either drive it the way it was built to be driven or follow the instructions in number two, but buy a ford escort. No sense in wasting a fine italian car. And when I blow by you, don’t get all offended. You’re the slowpoke. I have things to do.
- This has been bothering me for days. If you open a Tattoo shop and you call it “Good Vibrations” and have a Jamaican theme, I have several issues. First, I would expect you to be from Jamaica. Second, if you are from Jamaica, and you have a tattoo shop, I would suspect that you probably enjoy the ganja. If you are from Jamaica, and enjoying the ganja, you are probably not going to be very successful with the whole tattooing thing, because while your creativity would be enhanced, there’s always a fear that your mind is going go from pretty unicorn with flower to cheeseburger and gravy fries, and I would hate to end up with a unicorn that’s made from french fries on my arm or leg.
Okay, all that thinking made me tired, but before I go, I finally came up with an idea for my 2 year cancer free tattoo (which was supposed to be my one year, but I couldn’t settle on a design that would incorporate all the ideas for honoring everything that pulled me through that dark time). Really the only reason I’m getting another tattoo is because everyone in the oncology department always asks if I have new ink, and perhaps a new tattoo will make them forget to stab and scrape at me next time. Of course, it will likely end up being a 5 year anniversary tattoo, because we all know how good I am at doing things a timely manner. Speaking of which, I guess I should take the Christmas tree down sometime before Easter.
PS. You know those stories about how people see feather or dimes on the street as a sign from a dead loved one. Well, a few months ago, I was musing in the car, and I thought, probably out loud, that if my dear dead friend Joey really could send me a sign, he should send a cardinal or maybe an owl. I forgot about it for a while. Cardinals are not uncommon here, but you don’t often see them near the highway, owls usually aren’t out during the day. Anyway, I’m speeding along today, and swoosh! Here comes a crazy kamikaze cardinal headed for the grille of the car! I don’t know how it lived, but I laughed out loud, because that was clearly a sign. I am just glad it didn’t hit the car because I drove around with the last dead bird in my grille for days until Andy got it out. So JC, I know you’re out there, so the next sign I need is a small stack of hundreds, k? And don’t throw them at the car, just set them on the seat.
Now I bid you a fond adieu! Time to fall asleep watching Dexter! or read. I probably should read.